For the 2009-10 school year
Sept. 3 First day of school
Sept. 7 Labor Day
Sept. 25 No school
Oct. 9 Teacher in-service
Oct. 23 No school
Nov. 13 No school
Nov. 23 to 27 Thanksgiving break
Dec. 11 No school
Dec. 21 to Jan. 1 Winter break
Jan. 15 No school
Jan. 29 Teacher in-service
Feb. 12 No school
Feb. 26 No school
March 5 No school
March 19 No school
March 22 to 26 Spring break
April 9 No school
May 23 Graduation
May 27 Last day for students
If you go
What: Hayden School Board meeting
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
Where: School Board Meeting Room
Call to order
Requests to address the board
Reports - Board requested, principal, superintendent
Discussion - Use of Breathalyzers, early graduation request
Action - Early graduation requests, school safety and security task force, 2009-10 calendar
Steamboat Springs A group of parents are gearing up to contest a proposed change to the Hayden School District calendar for next year. A proposal to begin the 2009-10 school year two days earlier goes before the Hayden School Board on Wednesday night.
Superintendent Greg Rockhold will present the new calendar, which includes a full week for Thanksgiving break and starts school Sept. 3 - the week before Labor Day.
A group of 14 parents are upset about the potential change and sent a signed letter to the Pilot & Today protesting it.
"We don't believe that most people in the community have had a chance to evaluate this calendar, and many don't realize that the new calendar will have a new start date," the letter states. It was signed by Dennis and Laurie Hallenbeck, Lori Laird, Ernest Archuleta, Jackie Hayes, Rebecca Ferrier and others.
Jill Delay, a parent who was involved with scheduling discussions in the past but who did not sign the letter, said starting before Labor Day would rob families of the final days of summer.
"That is the last hurrah of the summer before school starts, and you're trying to get everything done," she said.
Delay said her family typically goes camping or shopping during Labor Day.
Rockhold said he welcomes public input during the board meeting Wednesday night. During that meeting, the board will have the option to approve the schedule. Members of the public also will have a chance to speak.
Rockhold said he and the administrative team proposed making Thanksgiving break a full week instead of the typical three days because the two days students are in school that week are not productive.
"To ensure that our kids are getting the most bang for their buck, it was brought up that everyone's geared toward Thanksgiving and this week is really not that productive, how can we better use our time productively?" he said.
Rockhold said he discussed the changes with the three building principals and found that the staff, with the exception of some Hayden Valley Elementary School teachers, supported the change.
"A good 80 percent of our staff, overall, said, 'Shoot yeah,'" he said.
Rockhold said he decided to add the additional days from Thanksgiving to the beginning of the year because the first few days of class are taken up by going over school rules and distributing textbooks, and he would like to make the first week after Labor Day as useful as possible.
In the letter, the parents stated that "starting two days before the Labor Day weekend is questionable as far as educational value."
The South Routt School Board approved a calendar at a March 19 meeting that will start classes Aug. 25. The Steamboat Springs School Board will vote on a proposed calendar at an April 13 meeting that calls for starting class Aug. 31.
Steamboat's proposed calendar includes three days for Thanksgiving break, while South Routt plans to take an entire week.
Rockhold said he also will recommend that the School Board postpone plans to use a Breathalyzer at the Hayden High School Prom this year until more details in the plan can be figured out.
"I'm going to recommend the board keep it on the burners, but take no action on it," he said. "Prom's around the corner, and we don't want to rush it."
He said the policies still are being tweaked and administrators are talking to lawyers to ensure the district is prepared when the breath tests are implemented.
Hayden High School principal Troy Zabel first suggested the use of breath tests to deter students from drinking before prom.
- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com